Sound — 4
When I owned this pedal I had an Ashton AG 140 playing through a little 30W Ashton practice amp, not much bigger than a two-slice toaster. Of course the OD on the amp was terrible, so I was glad to have some sort of upgrade; the DS7. When I first turned on the pedal I discovered what sustain was. Yes you can hold a note a duration of time with this pedal! Other than that I was not happy with the sound at all. Even with my mates Jackson with Seymour Duncan JB and 59 pickups through a Randall RG100, the sound was fuzzy, no matter what tone/EQ setting I had. I found if I turned the 'Tone" knob past half way it would start to hiss like an angry cat. Is it noisy? If you want a mild-heavily distorted sound at a convenient volume then yes. To eliminate excessive and unwanted feedback I was forced to turn down the 'Drive' knob, or gain. But then you lose all sustain and clarity in your tone, so the best thing you can do is compromise somewhere in between; feedback or weak sound? After some tweaking it is possible to get a suitable sound for rock - heavy rock. If I was to use this pedal at all I would have to a rhythm guitarist though. You would just lose your notes if you trying to play lead with it.
Overall Impression — 4
I play anything from Jazz to Death Metal. I have been playing guitar very seriously in the last 5-6 years now and I have a fair bit of experience when it comes to guitar equipment. Honestly, this pedal doesn't cut it for me. I would have to say it would be best suited for rock genres but even then, the sound is always empty, otherwise too sharp and 'unnatural' sounding. I ended up giving it to my brother, who didn't like it either so I don't know what's happened to it now. This pedal would be best for a new guitar player with a weak OD from their amp and looking for a boost of gain for practice purposes.
Reliability & Durability — 8
As far as sturdiness goes it's built pretty well. It would take a fair bit of stomping and hacking to break it. For both gigging/practicing purposes I'd recommend using an adaptor if possible as the pedal chews through batteries rather quickly. But pretty reliable, I never had a problem with it.
Ease of Use — 10
First of all, I'm not sure if this can be easier to use. Three knobs; Drive, Tone and Level, and just a tap of the foot will turn the effect on/off. A feature of the Tone-Lok series is that you can "push the knobs down and your tone settings lock securely inside the case. No more lost settings or knobs broken." It's also got a red light that shows that it's on. It can either run on a 9V battery or a power supply (Ibanez AC adaptor recommended). The manual includes the usual information (safety hazzards blah blah blah) and some tone setting suggestions (which can also be found on the Ibanez website) that you may find helpful depending on your amp EQ settings. I give this a 10 because it is very straightforward to use.